ALAMEDA (KPIX 5) – With Alameda County closing all indoor dining due to re-entering the Purple Tier, an East Bay waffle shop dating back to the 1920s is in danger of closing.
In much of the Bay Area, it’s the last night for indoor dining at restaurants, as counties that just moved back into the Purple Tier face another round of restrictions. Outdoor dining is still allowed under local county health guidelines, but recent rainy weather and cold temperatures have affected sales for many businesses.
Ole’s Waffle Shop in Alameda, which has been around since 1927, is no exception. Owner Ken Moniz said indoor dining gave them a chance to survive, but this latest shutdown order means the decision to close their doors for good is getting closer.
Susan Reed has been coming to Ole’s Waffle Shop almost every morning since the early 1970’s.
“It’s home. You know everybody,” said Reed.
On Tuesday, Reed got her coffee and read her newspaper, where Tuesday’s headline read, “New shutdowns again.”
“Yeah, isn’t that sad?” said Reed. “There won’t be a place to go. I’ll just have to stay home.”
Tuesday was a rainy day, in more ways than one for Moniz, who sold one of his properties soon after the pandemic hit and his Paycheck Protection Program loan ran out.
“We’re not doing this to get wealthy,” said Moniz.
Moniz said revenue dropped to 15% of what they used to make when they shut down indoor dining. Still, he hasn’t laid off a single employee during the pandemic.
“I never missed a paycheck through the pandemic,” said waitress Jessie Hill, who has worked at Ole’s for more than 30 years.
This week, Moniz is putting up for sale the last property he owns, which was just finished this month, after it burned to the ground in the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa.
His wife fully supports him and this move 100%.
“She keeps me going. I get up every single day and go because of her. Without her I wouldn’t want to do it,” said Moniz.
For now, customers can still order those famous waffles to go.
“Even if I retired, I would come in to get a waffle!” said Hill.
“It’s sad. You know all these people,” said Reed.